stellaToday on the Dining Diaries…

A waiter needed to be held down so we could give him our full order,
We dined in a restaurant where the median age was 94 and…
Graceful piano music played, whisking us into the fantasy of rich, elegant indulgence.

It was a wintry day here in Adelaide but we put on our big people pants, our heavy jackets and went along to Stella’s restaurant, located at Henley Beach.
As you can see from the photo, it’s a lovely location in Summer. Today, while the view was still lovely, it was a little more bleak than the photo above suggests.

It was nice and warm when we entered the restaurant and one of the things I couldn’t help noticing is that hubby and I, middle aged as we are, were the youngest in there.
FullSizeRender (29)We sat at a table that gave us nice views of Henley Jetty and looked over the menu. Lots of the usual favourites on there.

I kept being drawn to the pasta dishes and eventually settled for the pappardelle with veal and mushroom ragu. Even though I had only just had this dish recently, I was drawn to it again if only just to compare this version to what I’d eaten at Salsa’s.
When the waiter came, I asked him if the pasta was made in house. He squirmed and looked apologetic so I knew the answer before he replied. It didn’t phase me too much, I just wanted to know what I was in for before ordering.

He seemed very busy and we noticed he was the only person attending to all the tables. In fact he was so busy, we almost didn’t get our complete order in and I was practically calling out “and the arancini!” as he was leaving our table.

Arancini for entree to share, pappardelle with veal and mushroom ragu for me, and hubby went with a personal favourite of his, pork belly.

As always we looked at the other food coming out and it all looked beautifully presented so we were excited to see what we were going to be getting.
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It wasn’t long before our Arancini came out.

I’m not sure exactly what the texture of arancini are supposed to be like. I know the rice and cheese can make them quite stodgy and these were a little but is it supposed to be like that?

They tasted good albeit a little salty but that’s a personal preference.

The outer was warm and crispy and the cheese inside was beautifully melted.

On a side note, as we were sharing I was happy that they had given us four on the plate!

I think if one person had ordered that as an entree to eat alone, they would have found it quite rich. I’m not sure I could have eaten more than two but what I did eat, I enjoyed.

FullSizeRender (28)Our mains came out quite soon after.
I’ve made it known that I love my pasta and although this was not pasta made in house, it was cooked well and I appreciated that.

The veal was tender and the mushroom was just divine, making this a very nice dish to eat.

I wasn’t expecting a cream sauce and wish I’d known that before I’d ordered as I probably wouldn’t have ordered it.

The only slight criticism is that I would have liked a smidgen more salt in the sauce.

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Hubby was very pleased with his pork belly.

I always know when he’s enjoying a dish as he gets quiet. There was no crackling with his pork though and the one other thing he was disappointed with is that his veggies were cold. He would have liked some good old wintry weather sides like hot mash or roast pumpkin.

I loved the way it looked on the plate, very colourful and pretty.

The meat was tasty, tender and well seasoned.

All in all we were not disappointed with our visit to Stella. The food was good, the atmosphere was lovely (if you like piano music) and the views of that jetty are just lovely in any weather.

The one thing that would have changed this experience to just above average to sensational would have been if the wait staff had been a little more personal and not looked like they were just doing jobs that they didn’t really like. It just felt like they were going through the motions. It wasn’t bad service, just not personal.
Please don’t let me dissuade you from going there though as we did enjoy what we had!

Have you eaten at Stellas?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!


Till next we chow…